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DEC announces environmental justice grants

The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced late last week that $1 million in environmental justice grants will be awarded to communities facing environmental risks and hazards.

The program concentrates on communities that are historically over-burdened by problems such as a high density of contaminated sites; noise, air and water pollution; health problems; and a lack of green space and waterfront access.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens says the "grants will provide grassroots, community-based organizations with an important tool to continue their research on how environmental factors adversely influence the quality of life of the state's minority and low income populations."

Individual awards will range from $2,500 to $50,000. A wide variety of projects are eligible for funding, including community gardens and green roofs, air and water quality monitoring and lead poisoning prevention and inventories of local pollution sources.

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